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Best Hitch Bike Racks Reviewed
Hitch bike racks are a unique type of bike racking which the rack is designed to be mounted onto the receiver at the back end of a vehicle.
If your vehicle does not have a hitch receiver, not to worry! There are plenty of affordable options these days to have one installed.
We here at cogmag.com scoured today’s saturated market to help you find the best hitch bike rack. Our team has reviewed our top 5 hitch bike racks that we believe will be the perfect fit for your cycling rig.
For starters, Hitch bike racks make it easier to load and unload your bikes. An alternative such as a roof rack can require you to load and unload your bike from awkward angles, and could lead to potential injuries. A quality hitch bike rack means fast and convenient installation, and makes it easy to slide your bike rack right into place.
Another important aspect to consider if you’ve been contemplating installing a roof rack, is that there will be added height to your vehicle. This will most likely be an issue trying to drive your vehicle through limited height clearance areas such as your garage, fast food drive-thrus, and public parking garages.
Hitch Bike Racks are specifically designed to not to add any vertical height to your vehicle, and only minimal depth. A quality hitch bike rack with be virtually unnoticable while you’re going about your normal schedule. Not to mention that hitch bike racks are considered more aerodynamic compared to roof-mounted bike racks.
Hitch bike racks also have advantages over trunk-mounted bike racks. Like hitch racks, trunk racks are fitted at the rear of the vehicle. Trunk-mounted racks are positioned in place using straps that fix to the bumper or trunk. You don’t need a hatch receiver to use these racks, however hitch-bike racks are more durable and more secure compared to trunk-racks.
It’s important to consider that low-quality hitch bike racks are less secure than high-quality models. Potentially, this could mean damage to your vehicle or bike as you drive, (or even losing your bike altogether)!
With a high-quality hitch bike rack, you’ll have plenty of stress-free biking adventures, taking your bike wherever you please. To help you choose a top-quality hitch bike rack, let’s take a look at some of the best hitch bike racks money can buy.
Top Hitch Bike Racks Comparison Chart
Check out our favorite Hitch Bike Rack
Best Hitch Bike Rack
The KAC Overdrive rack can hold 2 bikes, weighing 60lbs max per bike. The rack uses sturdy steel tubing to keep your bikes secure, as well as a locking knob, hitch pin, and padded clamps. The installation process is fast, many of the rack parts are pre-assembled. The rack features robust 5inch trays, which can fit many different types of bikes, whether mountain bikes or e-bikes.
With the help of the rear reflector, you’ll benefit from improved visibility. The KAC Overdrive also features an anti-wobble system, protecting your vehicle and your bike from damage. It’s easy to fold the rack and access cargo from the rear, thanks to the ‘Quick Release Tilt Design’. With the limited lifetime warranty, you’ll be covered on performance issues, to give you added peace of mind.
One of the great things about this trailer hitch bike rack is that it’s super versatile. The rack can be used as a 1-bike carrier if that’s your preference. It’s simply perfect for bikes that have tire fenders, easily secured with top- frame hooks.
It’s worth noting that if you have a low-y frame bike you’ll need to also purchase the bar adapter, which is sold separately.
The KAC Overdrive has the best set of clamps you’ll find on a hitch rack. Secure clamps are incredibly important for fat tires, (which can be tricky to keep in position). Whether you’ve got fat tires or not, you’ll benefit from that little bit of extra security. The KAC Overdrive has been a popular hitch bike rack for some time, you can guarantee that you’ll keep your vehicle and your bike safe, and experience a smooth drive.
The Swagman Chinook is very easy to put together, the rack tilts so that you can access the rear of your vehicle with no problem. This hitch bike rack offers some great security features, such as locking ratchet hooks, (securing the rack to the frame). The rack also includes key lock cylinders and a locking hitch pin.
Using the Swagman Chinook you can carry 2 bikes, each weighing up to 45lbs, (including most styles and frame sizes). The Swagman can support bikes with 12inch to 29inch tires and it’s compatible with a hitch receiver of 2 inches or 1-1/4inches. The rack can accommodate tires up to 3inches thick, and you can also purchase ‘fat tire trays’ for the rack, if required.
It’s simple to fold up the Chinook when you aren’t using it, the rack comes with tightening knobs and adjustable wheel trays, so you can choose whichever position is suitable.
You’ll be impressed by the versatility of the Swagman Chinook, the rack can support bikes of various tire and wheel widths, and many different sizes. Having said this, if you use a step-through bike you’ll also need to purchase a bar adapter. If you’re looking for a hitch mounted bike rack with amazing quality, you can’t go wrong with the Swagman Chinook rack. The Swagman is considered one of the best hitch bike racks out there.
Yakima is one of the leading brands of hitch racks, and the Yakima DoubleDown 4 is one of their best-selling products.
The Yakima DoubleDown 4 is a type of hanging rack, using this rack you can carry any bike which has a traditional frame. You’ll find that it’s simple to install and load the rack. It’s also easy to tilt the rack when you don’t need to use it. With the press of a button you can fold away the arms in seconds!
To use this bike hitch rack you’ll need a hitch receiver of class 1, 2, or 3, (including 1-1/4inch or 2 inches). The Yakima DoubleDown features a smart design including an anti-sway cradle. The anti-sway cradle prevents contact between your bikes as you drive, so you won’t end up with scratches, or other damages.
Not forgetting bike security, there’s a deadlock that you can buy separately, to lock the bike to the hitch mount. It’s important to consider security issues when you are choosing the right bike rack.
The key selling point of this bike hitch rack is that it can fit up to four bikes, so it’s perfect if you’re off on a family camping trip. It’s worth remembering that if your bikes are not traditionally geometrical you’ll also need to buy a tube top adapter. An adapter will help you to properly secure the bikes to your hitch receiver.
Thule is a Sweden-based brand, well known as one of the best manufacturers for bike accessories and car racks. The T2 Pro is a more advanced version of the original T2 hitch bike mount. You’ll find that this rack is made from top-quality materials, and has plenty of great features.
The Thule T2 Pro is a premium rack that can hold up to 2 bikes. The hitch mounted bike rack features an automatic attach system, meaning that you can install and take off the rack, without any tools. With the help of the ratcheting arm, it’s easy to secure your bikes, without frame contact. The trailer hitch bike rack allows you to position your bikes with a distance of 12.5inches between them.
You can access the rear of your car with ease, as the rack can be tilted or folded. The Thule T2 Pro can support e-bikes, mountain bikes, fat bikes, or carbon frames. The rack is suitable for 5-inch tires or 20-19inch wheels, with no adapters required. The maximum weight per bike is 60 pounds.
The Thule T2 Pro XT is a platform bike rack, meaning it does take a fair amount of assembly to set it up. It takes longer to put together than the Yakima and the KAC Overdrive, however it does offer plenty of features. The top features include the locking system, ratcheting arms, and the tilt lever. With so many cool features to take advantage of, it’s no surprise the Thule T2 is such a popular hitch bike rack.
Allen Sports has been around since 1967, the brand offers top quality and easy to use bike accessories and racks.
With the Allen Sports 4, you can take up to four bikes on a fun-filled road trip adventure. You’ll need a class IV or II-inch hitch trailer to use this bike rack. The Allen Sports 4 features 22inch carry arms, and a patented system to tie down your bikes. You can set up this rack in under five mins, and there’s a non-wobble bolt to help you keep your bikes extra secure.
Arguably one of the best things about the bike is the ‘individual tie-down system’. These tie-downs are secured by the carry arm, they rotate meaning that they can support a huge range of bike styles and sizes.
With a sleek black-powdered coated finish, this hitch bike rack is both stylish and durable. If you need to carry multiple bikes, and you’re looking for an excellent bike rack, the Allen Sports 4 is the rack for you. To support several bikes, the Allen Sports is considered one of the best hitch bike racks.
Top Hitch Bike Rack Features To Consider
When choosing a hitch bike rack there are plenty of considerations that you’ll need to make, to ensure you find the right bike rack for you.
Hitch Receiver Size
Before you choose a hitch bike rack, you’ll need to check which type of hitch receiver that you have. The two common types are either the 2-inch hitch receiver or the 1-¼ inch receiver. As you can imagine, if you have a 2-inch receiver, your vehicle will be able to take more weight. Depending on the type of bike you’ll be carrying, choose a bike rack to match your hitch receiver and your needs.
Material & Quality
When you are looking for a trailer hitch bike rack, it’s important to consider the materials and the quality. Generally speaking, metal bike racks tend to have great lifespans. The Allen Sports 4 is made entirely of steel, ensuring that it’s an incredibly durable hitch bike rack. The KAC Overdrive is produced with alloy steel, meaning it’s also incredibly sturdy, while the Swagman incorporates both steel and plastic parts.
All of the options above are constructed with top-quality materials, expertise, and attention to detail. These picks are all affordably priced when you consider their quality and the average prices on the market.
Hitch bike racks vary in weight, the Allen Sports 4 weighs just 0.26 pounds, while the Thule T2 Pro weighs 52 pounds. Many people prefer to find the lightest weight option possible. Others are willing to drive with an added weight if it means more features. Like the Allen, the Yakima is also a low-weight rack, weighing just 3 pounds. It’s worth remembering that these are both intended to carry four bikes, (and so you’ll probably be making up the weight that way).
Hitch bike racks vary in price, it’s worth paying a little extra for a quality and a durable bike rack. Our five top picks come in a range of prices, so you’ll likely find something to suit your budget. When you’re making a decision is worth considering the capacity you require. If you only need to carry around one bike, it’s probably not worth opting for a 4- bike rack!
When it comes to choosing the right bike rack, you’ll also need to consider the security features. The KAC Overdrive features padded clamps, a hitch pin, and a locking knob, while the Yakima requires you to purchase a deadlock separately.
If your chosen rack does not include locks, there’s always the option to purchase bike locks, helping you secure the bike to the rack. Some hitch racks include a cable lock, or you can buy a U-lock to use on your rack. Whichever options you go for, it’s vital to consider security.